Initial Ride (thoughts and impressions)

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Blister_1
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Initial Ride (thoughts and impressions)

Post by Blister_1 » Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:58 am

I’ve been interested in buying a Yamaha FJR for a couple of years, but I was unsure of the matte blue paint finish. I didn’t think I would like it, so I waited. And I waited. Finally, in 2020, Yamaha changed the paint color to Liquid Graphite. I began looking for dealers that had the bike in stock, but this model does not appear to be very popular in these parts. I shopped around to find the best deal locally, and decided to work with Powersports of Willmar. On April 1, I put a down payment for the bike, and the order was placed. I was told to expect about 2 weeks for delivery and setup. I received a call on April 15, informing me that the bike had arrived at the dealer, and it would be ready for pickup on Friday. I made an appointment for 12:00 on Saturday to complete the purchase.

I am anticipating many things with this bike, and I am interested to see how my perceptions play out. I am wondering if I will be able to reach the ground flat footed. I’ve been wondering if I should have ordered the touring wind screen. Is this bike going to be good for commuting? How much maintenance will I be able to perform on it? Am I going to ruin the panels when I take them off? Will I dump it on a gravel road, taking it to the cabin from the dealer? Am I going to struggle moving it around the garage? The comfort has to be much better than the Vulcan – right? Will I be able to ride it to Montana? Is the FJR going to be the missing piece of my long distance touring puzzle? 6 years ago, I almost gave up motorcycling because of my 4,000 mile trip on the Vulcan. By the time I got home, I hated that bike, and I put it away for over a year. Thankfully, I have fallen in love with the Vulcan again. She earned her name of “The Red Bitch”, however. But, I digress….

Okay – so, we are getting ready to head to the cabin. So much garbage is going through my mind. I am counting on the fact that the majority of my gear is at the cabin, and it hasn’t been destroyed by mice or squirrels. The gear I am aware of here at home is already packed. I am hoping there is an area nearby the dealer where I can practice on the bike before hitting the road. It’s been almost 7 months since I’ve ridden the Vulcan. My skills are not honed in for the season, yet. How foolish am I to hone them on a new bike? It is only a matter of hours before I know the answer to that question. When I come home tomorrow, I hope to capture my first impressions on the FJR. Stay tuned….

It took less than an hour to complete the transaction. I am very happy with the experience I had a the dealership. The very first thing I noticed when I mounted the FJR, was that the mounting was quite clumsy for me. I immediately dismounted, and scuffed my boot on the right side case. I will need to work on this, and figure out how to mount and dismount without damaging the bike. My feet have no problem reaching the ground and flatfooting. In fact, I might be able to raise the seat height, if I choose to. The foot peg position was interesting for me, and it is something I need to be aware of for the first few times of riding – the gear shift lever most likely won’t last if don’t. I adjusted the mirrors, and started the bike up. I was surprised how quiet the motor is. I began moving cautiously, not knowing how the bike will respond to my commands. I needn’t have worried – she is a motorcycle, after all, and I know what I am doing. When I rolled out of the parking lot, onto the surface street, the FJR began displaying her personality. It is one of the most compliant bikes I have ridden. Steering is effortless and the roll on power is smooth. The gauge cluster seems to be designed well, and I had no problems becoming acquainted with the layout. I turned off of the service road, and began my FJR journey on US71 N. I noticed the riding position is exactly what I was hoping it would be as I worked my way through the gears. I am getting a little too much wind blast on this blustery day. Thankfully, the menu display was set for the windscreen, and I moved it to the high position. The wind blast disappeared. I have not figured out how to set items in the menu display. I have no idea how many miles are on the bike, although, I was able to somehow set the clock. I will get it figured out soon enough… The ride home on Sunday was into a headwind, and I am pretty sure I will be ordering the touring windscreen. I can most likely deal with the standard screen, but just a few more inches would make a lot of difference, I think. I rode around Green Lake in Spicer then headed back to US71 S to head back to the cabin. Feeling a little more comfortable with my new steed, I decided to give it a little more throttle. What a rush! This bike goes from 0 to OMG! with the flick of the wrist. The power of this fine motorcycle is amazing, and is mostly likely far beyond my expertise. I was pleasantly surprised at how nimble she is. It is really effortless to maneuver her – even in the garage. In that respect, it is far more compliant than any other bike I have ever owned.

I will probably never bring the bike to its limits, but she will certainly bring me to mine – I just need to acknowledge my limits, and we will be just fine. For now, we are getting acquainted with each other. The journey has really just begun.
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Do good things,

Kevin

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Re: Initial Ride (thoughts and impressions)

Post by Festus » Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:49 am

That's awesome, congratulations on your new purchase! Thanks for sharing your story. It took me back to the time I picked up my bike, thanks for that :)
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raYzerman
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Re: Initial Ride (thoughts and impressions)

Post by raYzerman » Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:16 am

Oh yeah! Congrats, you're going to love it.
Now, just don't ask us what oil to put in it and what filter to use, or what tires are best. You'll find us all very helpful here, we all have opinions, but one thing we're really good at is suggesting how to spend Your Money. We're good like that.
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Re: Initial Ride (thoughts and impressions)

Post by jwilly » Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:52 am

Congrats on the new bike! The kicking the ride side bag is an issues with all sport-touring bikes with bags. You will find your groove and you can also look at Tech-Spec bag protectors if you choose. I will warn you that pillions tend to do the same thing...
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Deagle10
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Re: Initial Ride (thoughts and impressions)

Post by Deagle10 » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:03 am

jwilly wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:52 am
Congrats on the new bike! The kicking the ride side bag is an issues with all sport-touring bikes with bags. You will find your groove and you can also look at Tech-Spec bag protectors if you choose. I will warn you that pillions tend to do the same thing...
Absolutely.

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Re: Initial Ride (thoughts and impressions)

Post by CollingsBob » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:03 am

Welcome!
I’m 6’2” and I have the taller Yamaha screen with a MRA Touring X-Creen on top. The other change that I made was to change the seat to a Russell Day-Long.
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Blister_1
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Re: Initial Ride (thoughts and impressions)

Post by Blister_1 » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:30 am

raYzerman wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:16 am
You'll find us all very helpful here, we all have opinions, but one thing we're really good at is suggesting how to spend Your Money. We're good like that.
I am sure to asking for everyone's suggestions for how to spend my money - especially when I show up for a tech day with a credit card!
Niehart and Cav47 loved this
Do good things,

Kevin

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raYzerman
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Re: Initial Ride (thoughts and impressions)

Post by raYzerman » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:32 am

Your credit is no good here... we'll tell you where to spend it though.
Keep yer stick on the ice........... (Red Green)
Duct tape can't fix stupid, but it can sure muffle the sound.

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Re: Initial Ride (thoughts and impressions)

Post by bigjohnsd » Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:43 pm

Seat....Seat....Seat....Seat....#1 Farkle - Laam, Russell. Seat Concepts all good.
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escapefjrtist
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Re: Initial Ride (thoughts and impressions)

Post by escapefjrtist » Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:26 pm

Congrats on the new '20ES! Get some miles under your belt and make it yours. And yeah, we'll help run up the credit card bill !!

~G
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fontanaman
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Re: Initial Ride (thoughts and impressions)

Post by fontanaman » Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:40 pm

Congrats on the new FJR. As other have said it is time to run up the credit card. I have a Russell Day Long - great saddle. I hear Laam is good too.
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Uncle Hud
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Re: Initial Ride (thoughts and impressions)

Post by Uncle Hud » Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:23 pm

You'll come to like the FJR even more than you do today. There is no better platform for touring. Say hello to Tripper Mike for me.
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nfa1eab
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Re: Initial Ride (thoughts and impressions)

Post by nfa1eab » Mon May 18, 2020 12:29 am

Congrats on the new FJR. You are going to love it. The Yamaha Touring Screen is what the bike should come with. I highly recommend it. I have a 15 ES I bought used. It came with a Sargent seat that I am very pleased with. My 15 is Liquid Graphite as well, beautiful color. It is less affectionately known on this forum as AssFault Grey. I completely understand that nickname, as in the first week, I had three cages try to kill me by occupying the same space that I possessed. I would highly recommend hi-viz riding gear, auxiliary lights up front, and the PIAA horns that sound like a 1970 Buick LeSabre, for safety's sake. Enjoy the new ride!
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Re: Initial Ride (thoughts and impressions)

Post by Allen_C » Tue May 19, 2020 7:16 pm

Congrats on the new bike. Next time you twist your wrist, be around 4900 rpm where the HP curve steepens, and make sure you're holding on to the grips!
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Uncle Hud
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Re: Initial Ride (thoughts and impressions)

Post by Uncle Hud » Mon May 25, 2020 8:31 am

Allen_C wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:16 pm
Congrats on the new bike. Next time you twist your wrist, be around 4900 rpm where the HP curve steepens, and make sure you're holding on to the grips!
... in Sport mode. OK, Tour mode is similar, just a little slower for that initial kick.
_________________ You can't get into trouble in second gear. _________________

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Uncle Hud
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Re: Initial Ride (thoughts and impressions)

Post by Uncle Hud » Mon May 25, 2020 8:33 am

Uncle Hud wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 8:31 am
Allen_C wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 7:16 pm
Congrats on the new bike. Next time you twist your wrist, be around 4900 rpm where the HP curve steepens, and make sure you're holding on to the grips!
... in Sport mode. OK, honestly? Tour mode puts a smile on my face, too.
_________________ You can't get into trouble in second gear. _________________

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